Online Shopping In Pakistan: Online Shopping A Hopeful Industry in Pakistan
Pakistan has welcomed the world of online shopping. Though they are still on their early days of getting used to the wired system of shopping, this fact does not halt any highly specialized ecommerce sites from invading Pakistan’s online shopping market.
With the country’s 31 million internet users, a number of startups in the field of ecommerce have emerged. Fifty percent (50%) of this wired system users use mobiles for browsing making them the f5th largest base of mobile phone users in Asia, according to Pakistan Telecom Authority. This is such an opportunity for a country like Pakistan to have growth in the online retail industry.
Due to non-barrier to international trade, US-based online commerce giants like Amazon, Macy’s, and JC Penny were allowed to ship items to Pakistan. Delivery of online orders is made possible via Borderfree. Online consumers experience a hassle-free online shopping as they can pay using their local currency via online banking or cash on delivery.
Online payment options such as credit and debit cards is yet to be developed in this country as there is solely United Bank Ltd (UBL) which facilitates online payments as such. Online stores dedicated to selling products to international buyers generally choose third-party gateways like 2CheckOut, Payza and Skrill for overseas sales. For domestic sales, choices include online bank transfer, branchless banking like mobile network accepting payments on behalf of banks, mostly from consumers without bank accounts, and mobile transfer. Although no major cases of fraudulent activity have emerged in internet retailing since online shopping was introduced in Pakistan in 1997, there is still a need to build the confidence in online shopping and financial security in this country.
There is but a great opportunity to improve the online retail industry in Pakistan with it being a consumer economy as compared to its neighboring countries which are dependent on manufacturing, tourism and other traditional economic industries. Based on State bank of Pakistan’s reports, there is a large percentage of the country’s gross domestic product that are being spent on consumption which makes consumer retail as an even more growing sector in the country . Pakistan imports $40 billion worth of goods yearly while exporting only $24.6 billion making up the differences from remittances from Pakistanis living abroad of $13.2 billion yearly. The mean percentage of Pakistani consumers likely purchase goods and services, construct housing, etc. Wholesale and retail sectors account for 17.1% of Pakistan’s economy.
Pakistani, in terms of online shopping, is never left behind. However, there are still lots of growth areas that the country needs to improve on. It may take some time, more effort and more practice for them to build a successful retail model like those in the already digitized countries. But with its current statistics and capabilities, the success of online shopping in Pakistan is sure to find its way…very soon….
This article originally appeared at SB Wire.